You must argue how the period from around 1950 through the 1980s was more detrimental than beneficial.

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Do not argue that the period was both beneficial and detrimental (which, of course,it was). Make sure you argue the side assigned to you. Be sure to argue HOW the period was either beneficial or detrimental. What one major issue or theme made the period either beneficial ordetrimental, and for whom was it beneficial or detrimental, as wellas how was it beneficial or detrimental to the nation as a whole.

In order to make your argument, you MUST use one primary source (the documents) each fromChapters 24-26 in Voices of Freedom and two examples from the lectures (at least five examples in total). You will be graded on the quality of your examples and explanations, not the quantity of your examples. Be sure to fully explain how your examples support the position you are arguing.

Papers should be about 4-5 pages long (typed and doubled-spaced), but length is less important than content. For citations from the book, cite the document and page number. You do not need to cite information from the lectures, but should you bring in outside sources

Guide to Writing the Papers

These guidelines are applicable to all the assignments in this course.

1) Be sure to clearly state your argument in the first paragraph. Your argument should be more than just a statement that things during the period under consideration were beneficial or detrimental, it should say how they were beneficial or detrimental.

2) Select the best sources to support your argument. Use examples from the lectures and documents to support your argument. You do not need to cite material from the lectures, but examples from the textbook should be cited after the material and/or quote appears in your paper by providing the name of the document and page number parenthetically.

3) Be sure your examples cover the whole period under question, for example you do not want all of your examples for the first assignment to all be from Reconstruction.

4) Be sure all your examples support the same general idea. For example, if your argument is that events of a certain time period were beneficial because of general prosperity which benefitted most Americans, then make sure that all your examples support the idea that most Americans were benefitting economically.

5) You should spend more time explaining your examples than you do describing them. Describing just says what happened, while explaining says how it is beneficial or detrimental.

6) Ask questions. If you have questions about your argument, or specific examples, please ask them either in class, in office hours or by email. The Teaching Assistants and I are available to assist you.

7) Papers should be typed and doubled-spaced. While there is no length requirement or limit, 4 to 5 pages is average. Explaining your argument with the required number of examples is what matters most. More examples will not increase your grade.

The Domestic Cold War

The Anti-Communist Consensus

  • Everyone in America agrees that Communism is not a good thing.
  • Divide is apparent in how to combat Communism.
  • House Un-American Committee (HUAC)
  • Investigates cases of radicalism, espionage, etc.
  • Goal is to weed out people in the country that are Un-American.
  • Focus was Communists and Socialists.

Truman and Liberal Anti-Communism

  • Liberals – best way to fight Communism was through foreign policy.
  • Problem is this is very expensive. Must maintain many armed forces.
  • Truman Doctrine (1947)
  • Alger Hiss
  • Accused of giving secrets to the Soviet Union in the 1930s when he worked in the state department.
  • Truman backs Hiss. Hiss is found guilty of giving out information (perjury).
  • Republicans said his foreign policy isn’t working, the real problem is people in the government giving information out to the Soviet.
  • Julius and Ethel Rosenburg
  • Arrested, convicted, executed.
  • Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were American citizens who were accused and convicted of spying on behalf of the Soviet Union.
  • Republicans used this as fuel to go against Truman and the Liberal policy of batting communism.

McCarthy and Conservative Anti-Communism

  • Senator Joseph McCarthy
  • In 1950, he proclaimed that he had evidence that there were several Communists working in the State Government. In retrospect, he had no evidence.
  • People were so afraid of Communists that they believed him.
  • Lavender Scare
  • The “Lavender Scare” refers to a witch hunt and the mass firings of homosexual people in the 1950s from the United States government. It contributed to and paralleled the anti-communist campaign known as McCarthyism and the Second Red Scare.
  • Government tried to weed out suspected homosexuals.
  • 400-500 Government employees were fired as a result.
  • McCarran Internal Security Act (1950)
  • An Act to protect the United States against certain un-American and subversive activities by requiring registration of Communist organizations, and for other purposes. Nicknames. Internal Security Act of 1950. Enacted by. the 81st United States Congress.
  • It is illegal to think Communist thoughts.
  • Truman vetoed this. However, it ends up passing anyway.

Cold War Culture

  • Religion
  • Dramatic increase in people claiming to be religious, more people attend and donate to churches. 96% of all Americans considered themselves religious.
  • Seek to equate religious belief with Americanism. Eisenhower claimed that recognition of a supreme being is the first step in being a good American.
  • Belief was that Communism was anti-god. If you give people a religion, it will help them not become Communist.
  • In 1954, the phrase “under God” is added to the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • In 1956, the phrase “In God We Trust” is acclaimed the country motto and placed on all currency.
  • Once the Soviet Union develops nuclear weapons, anxiety increases. All it takes is the push of one button to start this war. People become more religious because of this.
  • Many Americans see all three (Protestant, Christianity, Judaism) as the same thing. People are much more tolerant towards one another.
  • Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking (1952)
  • Talks about how Christianity is the science of successful living.
  • Being religious will make you successful.
  • Says Jesus Christ is the best business partner you can have.
  • Revised standard of the Bible is released in 1952. The Bible outsells all other books combined.
  • The Ten Commandments (1956)
  • Religious themed movies become big box-office draws.
  • Education
  • In 1950s, main debate among educators was Progressive Education.
  • Based on the idea that education is not only based on memorization, but rather that a good education teaches children how to think. Teaches them arguments have two sides and that they can choose a side of the argument.
  • Pro-America
  • Believed education should not be about teaching children how to think, but to create good Americans.
  • Wanted schools to teach only good things about America, so they were not critical of America. Avoided things such as slavery in America.
  • Education was meant to serve the nation, not only the individual.
  • This meant that teachers that were seen too critical of America were targeted by Pro-America. They would notify the parents of the children. Hundreds of teachers get fired across the country for not being suitable for Pro-America.
  • A lot of the teachers targeted by Pro-America were Jewish teachers. They weren’t teaching a Pro-Christianity agenda.
  • Sputnik (1957)
  • First satellite sent to space, Soviet Union.
  • US had attempted but, up to this point, had failed.
  • Soviet Union beat America into space.
  • Sputnik 2 is released a month after Sputnik with a dog inside. The dog survived. This proved man can live in Outer Space.
  • Focuses a lot of attention on the failure of American education. The idea is American educators are failing because the Soviet Union accomplished this feat before America.
  • Leads to a focus on education in a service for the country.
  • Education is the first line of defense in the Cold War.
  • Comparison between the average US teen (Steven) and the average Soviet teen (Alexi). US was raising a generation of soft kids. Emphasis was put on sports to train young men before they were old enough to join the military. Emphasis was put on math and science classes as well.

The Culture of Conformity


  • Economic Growth
  • Postwar period is a very prosperous period because people were making a lot of money during the war and didn’t have much to spend that money on, as a result people save a lot of their money, also because of the extension of credit. Credit becomes a major way people start paying for goods.
  • Companies exclusive job is to extend people credit (credit card companies). Allows people to spend more money than they are making.
  • Wages are going up during this period, consumer spending is going way up during this period.
  • American companies had an upper hand in the world, there was little to no competition.
  • US made up 6% of world population, the US produced 50% of the world’s goods. American companies are profiting off the rest of the world.
  • The number of poverty level families was cut in half in the 1950s.
  • The disparity between the wealthiest and poorest shrinks.
  • Workers are making more money and working fewer hours.
  • Entertainment options skyrocket during this period: television, travel.
  • Population Growth
  • The Baby Boom
  • During the war when people are making money, they can now afford to have kids and marry younger.
  • When people marry younger, they tend to have more children.
  • In the 1950s, the birthrate increases to over 3 kids per family.
  • More people are moving into bigger homes with bigger families.
  • Changes in Social Structure
  • Economic Concentration
  • Corporations are making huge profits, but top 5% of corporations are making 87% of all corporate profits.
  • This means vast majority of corporate wealth is concentrated in a small number of companies.
  • “Big Three” oil companies, auto manufacturers, etc. Smaller competitors either die out or get bought.
  • White Collar Majority
  • For the first time, there is a majority of Americans working white collar jobs opposed to blue collar jobs.
  • Blue collar work becomes less necessary as increased mechanism begins replacing the need for workers.
  • An expanding economy makes more places available for people to work white collar jobs.

The Ideology of Abundance and Adjustment

  • Overall Americans believed that American society was so fruitful that there was an overabundance. The assumption was the economy would get more efficient, and at some point, everyone would have everything they needed and want.
  • The Classless Society
  • You don’t have class division the way you have in other societies.
  • Embourgeoisement Thesis
  • Everyone can be a part of the middle class.
  • Being middle class in America is not determined by what you do, you can do it if you can afford the trappings of middle class (house in a neighborhood, car).
  • Consumption as opposed to production.
  • The Organizational Family
  • Family is a corporation in miniature.
  • Society is organized in such a way that understanding your role will help you become content.
  • Corporate structure takes place in the household. Husband is CEO, wife is the manager, the kids are the labor.
  • Idea is that everybody has their role in society.
  • Suburbia
  • Mass produced housing. Housing that is meant to be inexpensive.
  • More people are moving to suburbs. By 1960, most people are living into suburbs as opposed to urban and rural dwellers.
  • In 1950, 1.4 million houses were built. 3,000 acres a day were bulldozed to make room for houses.
  • William J. Levitt, “Levittown’s”
  • Built outside of NYC and Philly. Levittown’s are subdivisions where the price of house was down, there would be three styles of homes that you could choose from.
  • He could reduce cost by keeping the style of the homes the same.
  • Federal Housing Authority
  • Provide low-interest loans.
  • People can purchase homes with very little down payment.
  • In 1950s, the average mortgage on a home was 30 years.

Trouble in Paradise

  • Michael Harrington, The Other America (1962)
  • Talking about the portion of America that is poor and hidden from American view. All of those who lived in rural areas have failed to keep up.
  • Rural livers don’t have electricity, heat, running water, etc.
  • A lot of people don’t have much savings. When a disaster occurs, people descend very quickly from the middle class into poverty.
  • Argues that American society will become so efficient that everyone will profit, he says that idea is not supported by evidence. There is a class of people, he estimates 25%, that is living in poverty or is one event away from being pushed into poverty. He says the structure of the economy will always make a lower class. We will never ger to the point where everyone is successful.
  • Attacking the economic system.
  • David Riesman, The Lonely Crowd (1950)
  • Argues that the economy is changing the characteristics of Americans. He says in the 19th century they made decisions based off their moral compass, in the 1950s the desire to fit in means people are becoming more likely to make decisions on what others think. Less inner-dependent and more other-dependent.
  • Says this is not good for democracy. If people stop making decisions on morality and more on appearances, this is dangerous. People can be influenced and manipulated in dangerous ways.

Civil Rights, Part 1

  • Country was ignoring the fact that people were not given the same opportunities in society.
  • Groups least affected by the prosperity during this period were the ones that began protesting.

Legalism in the Postwar Period

  • Smith v. Allwright (1944)
  • Bans exclusive primaries (white primaries).
  • Southern states restricted primary voting for African Americans.
  • Primary voting is important in the South, because a vast majority in the South was essentially one party (Democrats).
  • By banning African Americans from primary voting, whites can determine who they want to run.
  • Court rules limiting the voting is unconstitutional.
  • Thurgood Marshall
  • Predicted that before 1960 that all segregated schools in the US would be gone.
  • He was very wrong.
  • George McLaurin
  • NAACP challenges the idea of “separate but equal”.
  • African American who lived in Oklahoma and applied to law school in Oklahoma.
  • Oklahoma did not have a public black law school.
  • They cannot deny him education, so they admitted him in law school but segregated him in all his work, he had a separate table to do his work and eat at. He had the same education.
  • Marshall argues because he was singled out, his education is not equal.
  • Supreme Court agrees with Thurgood Marshall and rules in favor of George McLaurin.
  • Segregating black students creates inferior education.
  • Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
  • Whole idea of separate but equal in education is unconstitutional.
  • Eisenhower did not think the federal government should be limited in telling states how to run their schools.
  • Movement to resist integration decreases the number of schools integrating after the ruling because white Southerners are resisting it.
  • A lot of states banned black organizations and said they were Communist organizations.
  • Chief Justice Earl Warren
  • Earlier been the Attorney General of California during WWII. One of the major politicians to support the internment of Japanese AMericans. After the war, he regretted that.
  • When he gets to Chief Justice, he first hears Brown v. Board of Education.

Response to Brown

White Southern Resistance

  • “Southern Manifesto” (1956)
  • 101 of the Congressman from the South out of 128 all sign on to the Southern Manifesto.
  • A statement saying these politicians will not in any way support or enforce the Brown decision.
  • This was so accepted and so little acted upon by the federal government, this allows the resistance to grown and become very strong.
  • Central High School, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • High school where the National Guard was sent to keep black students out of the school.
  • Eisenhower sends the National Guard back to the school to help protect the black students.
  • Governor Orville Faubus
  • Decides he will use the issue of integration and segregation to support his re-election.
  • Says he will send the National Guard to Central High School in order to keep black students from attending. He says it will ensue peace.
  • This ends up creating an opposition to integrating Central High School.
  • Faubus pulls the National Guard before the black students arrive. They have no protection from the mobs that were there against the blacks.
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Rosa Parks gets in the bus, sits in the first row of the black section. The white section filled up, any new white passengers could force the blacks to move back in the bus or stand.
  • Rosa Parks was asked to move back, she refuses. The bus driver calls the police. She gets arrested for not giving up her seat. This leads to an outcry from the black community.
  • Black passengers are a significant share of the bus riders in Montgomery. The bus company needed their service. If they boycotted, it would make a serious economic impact for the bus company.
  • Bus Boycott is put into effect. They wanted the bus company to not force blacks to give up their seats and asked for black bus drivers on routes that were predominantly in the black community. Bus company refuses. Boycott lasts 381 days. The demands of the boycotters become greater and greater as time goes on.
  • Eventually the bus company must give in. 90% of the black community participated in the boycott.
  • This proves a point to the nation: shows how people are willing to give up a convenience in order to make a point.
  • Brings to the forefront Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the SCLC.
  • Problem of the boycott was that boycotting only works with businesses that depend on your patronage. Not effective with the complete idea of segregation and identification.
  • Once blacks oppose segregation more aggressively, then the violence picks up.
  • Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
  • Major Civil Rights group.

Civil Rights, Part 2

Direct Non-Violent Action

  • Sit Ins
  • Act in which a group of young freshmen from NCA&T who went to a drugstore. They went and sat down at the lunch counter and asked to be served. Rather than leaving when told no, they ended up sitting there for the rest of the day. They occupied the spaces so no other customers could sit there. They kept the business from doing their work. The next day, they return with 23 of their classmates. Now, they are taking up space in the store. On the third day, over 60 people showed up. By the end of the week, a 1,000 joined the protest.
  • They had to be very respectful and act as law abiding citizens so they would not be arrested. Non-violent protests.
  • Within several weeks of the first sit in, towns across the upper south saw a variety of sit ins occurring.
  • This was not an act that was founded by a large civil rights group.
  • Focusing the attention on the young people involved in the sit ins was key.
  • Sit Ins tended to have a positive effect, most successful in the upper part of the south, not as successful in the deep south. Resistance to these protests become greater in the deep south.
  • Ella Baker, James Lawson
  • Organized Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.
  • James Lawson – promoted the idea that non-violent protest must be the basis of the next phase of the Civil Rights movement. Turn the other cheek philosophy.
  • Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
  • Main job was to go to protests and train people how to not react.
  • The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was one of the major American Civil Rights Movement organizations of the 1960s. It emerged from the first wave of student sit-ins and formed at a May 1960 meeting organized by Ella Baker at Shaw University.
  • Freedom Rides and “Bull” Connor
  • Begin as a test to see if the interstate bus system has been integrated.
  • A group takes a bus from Washington D.C. to New Orleans for a Civil Rights event. In South Carolina, a group of whites are waiting for the bus and a mob attacks the blacks.
  • In Alabama, a mob throws a bomb in the bus forcing everyone to evacuate and then outside the bus people were waiting with baseball bats.
  • SNCC meets the bus in Birmingham, Alabama. Bull Connor takes them back to Tennessee.
  • In Jackson Mississippi, the riders were immediately thrown in jail. They decide to stay in jail. This encourages other young people to come to Jackson, they get thrown in jail as well. Over 300 members of SNCC were arrested in Jackson.
  • Bull Connor
  • Police Chief in Birmingham Alabama.
  • He strongly opposed activities of the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

Civil Rights Legislation

  • Attorney General Robert Kennedy
  • Big advocate for the protestors.
  • During Freedom Rides he tries getting local law agencies to keep the riders safe. But he also gets the freedom riders to not go through with the freedom rides. The administration is lukewarm on the Civil Rights movement.
  • He was concerned about the infringement of voting rights for blacks.
  • Governor George Wallace
  • Physically stands in the entrance of a building at the University of Alabama who was trying to keep blacks out of the university.
  • This starts to change publics opinion about the Civil Rights movement.
  • Every time the Civil Rights Movement made a gain, there was always a
  • Medgar Evers
  • Medgar Wiley Evers was an American civil rights activist in Mississippi, the state’s field secretary for the NAACP, and a World War II veteran who had served in the United States Army.
  • Shot dead the day that President JFK gave his approval of the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson.
  • Outlaws discrimination in hotels, restaurants, and any other public accommodation.
  • If you own a business open to the public, you cannot deny service to anyone based on race, religion, national origin, or sex.
  • Gives the Attorney General the right to sue states for not integrating their schools.
  • Gave the government more control for rooting out discrimination.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • Job was to investigate and prosecute employment discrimination.
  • Requires that literary tests for voting must be in writing (on record).
  • Anyone who has finished the 6th grade is considered literate and doesn’t have to take the test.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965
  • When a Southern state wanted to change their election rules, it had to be approved by a higher power.
  • Voting Rights Act (1965) … It outlawed the discriminatory voting practices adopted in many southern states after the Civil War, including literacy tests as a prerequisite to voting. This “act to enforce the fifteenth amendment to the Constitution” was signed into law 95 years after the amendment was ratified.
  • Southern Civil Rights movement is achieving their main goals.
  • By the 1960s, most of the black community migrated out of the South and into the North.
  • This act did not do much for those who were outside of the South. Most blacks now faced discrimination in housing and lack of economic opportunities.
  • Civil Rights movement did a lot for Southern blacks but little for Urban blacks.

From Civil Rights to Black Power

  • Empowerment of black communities.
  • Protests tended to be violent.
  • Watts and the “Long Hot Summer”
  • LA neighborhood. A race riot broke out as a result of the constant intimidation and brutality of the LAPD against black citizens especially in the community of Watts.
  • A young African American who wasn’t doing anything wrong was arrested. People tried to stop this arrest and it turned into a riot.
  • When the riot was over, 34 people were dead, 4,000 rioters were in jail, and there was a lot of property damage.
  • 40 cities in the summer of 1966 had race riots.
  • Long Hot Summer – three separate years linked together by these riots.
  • This phase ends up losing the sympathy that the Southern Civil Rights Movement gained.
  • Stokley Carmichael and Black Panthers
  • The president of the SNCC.
  • He decides that the best way to achieve the goals of the black power movement is by having SNCC become an organization only for and of African Americans. He kicks out whites that are apart of SNCC.
  • Leads to the black power movement. On one level it means supporting black owned businesses, projects, supporting a political party that is dedicated specifically for the black community – Black Panther party.
  • The only way that African Americans can get their wants is through violent needs.
  • The larger white public says that this has gone too far.
  • The Black Panthers become public enemy number one.
  • This doesn’t keep the black power movement down; it makes it more powerful.
  • Malcolm X
  • Grew up in the ghettos of Detroit. Was thrown in prison. There, he becomes a follower of Elijah Muhammad. He becomes a follower of Islam.
  • Argues that African Americans need to turn away from Christianity. Says Christianity has helped to keep blacks from exerting their power.
  • Works to create a black power movement around that. He is much more willing to use violence to help the black community.
  • Says having a level of fear attached to you helps your movement.

Civil Rights Legacy

  • Ends up getting mired in the fact that there is disagreement.
  • Doesn’t end as much as it continues.

Vietnam, Part 1

  • A French colony before WWII.
  • When France gets occupied by Germany, Japan takes over control of France’s colonies in Asia.

Truman and Containment

  • French don’t want to give up control of Vietnam at the end of WWII.
  • The French don’t support Ho Chi Minh and the Vietminh.
  • France controls a small portion of the southern part of Vietnam after WWII.
  • This leads to France bombing the Northern Vietnamese city of Haiphong.
  • This starts the First Indochina War. France vs. Vietnam. When this war gets declared, the US and its agenda supports France as opposed to Vietnam.
  • US is worried if France loses the war, it could damage the French government. If the French government loses the favor of its people, it could cause Communism in France.
  • The US supports the French by sending military advisors and cash to the French.
  • Ho Chi Minh
  • Leader of the Vietminh.
  • US stands with Ho Chi Minh as he declares them an independent nation.
  • Vietminh
  • Nationalist Party. Want to gain control of their country.

Eisenhower and the Domino Theory

  • When the US rejects Ho Chi Minh, he turns to China. When China becomes Communist, the Vietminh become Communist as well.
  • Domino Theory – if one country falls to Communism, then it will spread to other surrounding countries. Must stop Communism before it turns into a snowball effect. Communism will keep going until all countries become Communist. This informs American foreign policy Asia throughout the Cold War.
  • Dien Bien Phu
  • 12,000 French troops were isolated here. They were cut off from the rest of the French army and their supplies.
  • France asked the US for assistance. They wanted US troops to come in and save them.
  • Congress does not support a military agenda in Vietnam, neither does the United Nations. As a result, the US doesn’t end up saving the troops. The French troops are forced to surrender. Vietnam wins the First Indochina War.
  • In the peace talks, they end up dividing Vietnam into two. In 1954, the Demarcation Line is put into effect. For two years, each side will stabilize their economy and the country will vote for who their leadership is.
  • It was clear that the vast majority were going to support Ho Chi Minh and Communism. The US did not like this.
  • South East Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO)
  • A similar organization to NATO.
  • Made up a lot of small countries that do not have much power.
  • Never has the same kind of authority or power that NATO had.
  • The US sent massive amounts of economic aid to South Vietnam.
  • Ngo Dingh Diem
  • South Vietnam leader who was chosen by the US because he was very westernized.
  • He was Catholic, educated in France, and spoke English.
  • The problem is, when he becomes leader, he begins taking the money from the US and pours most of the money into building up the military and very little goes into building the economy. 4 out of every 5 dollars given to the South by the US went to the military.
  • Diem had no interest in doing what the US wished with the economy.
  • He also uses that money to intimidate his opposition. Anybody opposed to Diem was arrested or ostracized. As a result, there is a lot of opposition growing about Diem in the South.
  • Diem refuses to hold the election and says he will hold an election only in the South to show his support in the South. He wins 98.2% of the vote. The whole thing was rigged.
  • National Liberation Front (NLF)
  • Formed in 1957 as an oppositional group to Diem.
  • There is a Civil War in the South between Diem and the NLF.
  • A Civil War within a Civil War.
  • Viet Cong (VC)
  • The National Liberation Front’s guerrilla war military.
  • They start getting supplies from the Vietminh via the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
  • Ho Chi Minh Trail
  • Went through Laos and Cambodia.
  • Therefore, the US attacks these countries as well.

Kennedy and Diem

  • When Kennedy takes over the White House in 1961, he sees that Diem is becoming less and less open to American advice.
  • Kennedy tries to beef up the South military and tries to fuel resistance towards Diem.
  • The US starts cutting Diem out of the process and starts to support the NLF.
  • Catholic Moral Laws (1963)
  • Laws which prohibit people in Vietnam from engaging in non-Catholic practices.
  • Vast majority of Vietnamese people are Buddhist.
  • As a result, the Buddhist in the country start protesting.
  • Countries around the world condemn the US for supporting a country which is so oppressive.
  • After the Catholic Moral Laws, the US realizes it must drop its support of South Vietnam.
  • In 1963, a military coup occurs in which the army assassinates Diem as well as his brother who was vice president.
  • As a result, a military government is in control.
  • Three weeks after the assassination, JFK himself is assassinated.
  • There was a change in leadership for Vietnam as well as America. This is where Americans really get involved in the war.
  • After Lyndon Johnson, that the US gets much more involved.
  • The US does not view this war the same way the Vietnamese view the war. Not fighting the same war.

Vietnam, Part 2

Johnson and Escalation

  • Draws up plans to support the South Vietnamese by engaging in an air war and not send troops. Running for President in 1964 on a peace platform.
  • All this changes in August of 1964 when the USS Maddox is bombed in the harbor in North Vietnam (Gulf of Tonkin). Johnson uses this as an excuse, asks Congress to allow him to use the military in Vietnam.
  • Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (1964)
  • Allows Johnson to start an air war and to start sending troops to Vietnam.
  • Where Americas involvement on the ground begins.
  • Not a declaration of war.
  • Johnson authorizes search and destroy missions. You cannot target the enemy by where they are located. The real battles are being waged in the South against the Vietcong. Hard to determine who is Vietcong and who is not. Search and destroy aims to disable the stability of the Vietcong to survive. Burn down villages and fields. The problem is you are hurting the people you are supposed to be protecting.
  • Tet Offensive (1968)
  • January 1968. A coordinated attack by the North Vietnamese army and the Vietcong on several different sites in South Vietnam, including the American Embassy.
  • Not successful, they don’t take over the American Embassy or any places they attack. But it illustrates to the American public that the optimistic assessment by the military is not true. We are not doing as well as they say we are doing.
  • People start criticizing the war more heavily including the general public. People start questioning if this is worth it.
  • My Lai Massacre (1968)
  • Massacre of the village of My Lai. When a platoon of American soldiers enters into the village (population 700). They are told going into the village that they have the opportunity to get even. They enter in the village and get no resistance. They go in guns a blazing. They burn the huts on fire, shoot all the villagers. Altogether, about 500 of the villagers died that day. Soldiers were accused of raping the Vietnamese girls in the village.
  • Military tried to cover up news of this story for about a year.
  • News of this eventually comes out and causes a lot of criticism about what we were really doing in Vietnam.
  • Leads to an overall dissatisfaction with Johnson’s role in the war.
  • Lt William Calley
  • Head of the My Lai Massacre.
  • Convicted of pre-meditated murder and given life in prison.
  • This sentence is reduced when Nixon comes in office and is released soon after.
  • Exit Johnson
  • Johnson can run for reelection because 1964 was the only time he was elected.
  • Majority of Democrats don’t support the war. Johnson decides that he is not going to run for reelection.
  • He also announces that he will not escalate the war anymore (not going to send any more troops over).
  • People assume this must mean we are close to winning or we are going to withdraw. This telegraphs to the American public that the war is essentially over.
  • Johnson still sends over the troops that were training at the time. A total of 55,000 troops.
  • US agrees to stop bombing in the North if the North Vietnamese agree to stop supporting the Vietcong in the South.
  • Nguyen Van Thieu
  • New leader of South Vietnam.
  • Believed that he could get a better deal waiting till the US election and dealing with the new president.

Nixon and “Vietnamization”

  • US will support the South Vietnamese army by bombing. Still using the Air Force on bombing runs. Hoping that this will help win the war. Wants to win the war by pulling American troops out.
  • He believed that the US must win this war because if they don’t it will hurt the reputation of the US.
  • Starts bombing more heavily in North Vietnam, also because of the supply lines, he starts bombing in Laos and Cambodia as well. Ends up invading Cambodia.
  • When these covert operations are made public, public sentiment towards the war is made heavier.
  • A million people march on Washington to protest the war. Nixon completely ignores this march. The US invades Cambodia shortly after.
  • During a protest at Kent State, 4 students are shot dead during an anti-war rally. 2 students killed were not a part of the rally but got in the crossfire.
  • Protests were becoming more adamant, dominant, and violent.
  • Vietnamization weaken the ability for South Vietnam to protect their resources. As a result, the North Vietnamese come within 30 miles of Saigon. They have taken over a large majority of South Vietnam. At this point, Nixon begins bombing again and mining North Vietnamese harbors.
  • In 1972, Nixon calls a ceasefire and says the war is over. Even though nothing has changed.
  • Negotiation between the three sides begin, these allow Nixon to get reelected. Nothing is put into agreement. Nixon begins bombing again.
  • Paris Peace Accords (1973)
  • An end of American involvement in the Vietnam War.
  • In August of 1973, the American air war in Cambodia ends.
  • Khmer Rouge (Cambodia)
  • Communists in Cambodia that take control of the country.
  • By 1975, the South Vietnamese government falls. The North Vietnamese country controls all of Vietnam. The war concludes in 1975.
  • North Vietnamese, Vietminh win the Second Indochina War.
  • Communist control of Vietnam.
  • Domino effect does not happen in Asia.

Youth Protest in the Sixties

The Baby Boom and “Multiversities”

  • People born during the war and immediately after, by the 1960s they are coming to age. Huge expansion in the number of people going to college. Since college has become much more accessible.
  • Before 1960s, college was mostly a liberal arts college.
  • Multiversities – universities that do a whole range of things. Business school, law school, engineering school, medical school all in one college.
  • Before Baby Boom, 15% of college aged Americans were enrolled in college.
  • During Baby Boom,c
  • Today, 35% of college aged Americans were enrolled in college.
  • Vast majority of people in college still tended to be from families that were in the middle class or above.
  • Students are learning in college what a man’s role in society and what a women’s role in society is.
  • Students are becoming critical of the society that they live in. More white students are participating in the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
  • Media portrayed this group as a radical group, even though it was necessarily a rather conservative group. Modern day Progressives.
  • Started by a group of students from University of Michigan.
  • Spreads very quickly to campuses across the country.
  • Had a retreat at Port Huron.
  • Port Huron Statement (1962)
  • Growing up, everything was so rosy that they grew up not being critical of society. Two things broke this complacency, first was Civil Rights Movement, the second was the Cold War and the threat of nuclear war.
  • In order to fight this complacency, they started this organization.
  • Berkeley Free Speech Movement
  • Legislation was passed that said no political literature cannot be transported on the University of California campuses.
  • Students felt this was a power move by the administration.
  • Administration did it because they did not want conflict over politics on campus.
  • This causes the birth of the free speech movement. This effects almost every university over the country.
  • Governor had to call out the National Guard in Berkeley.
  • Students and Vietnam
  • Initial concern was that most students believed that the US should not be involved in the Vietnam War, students exerted influence over areas where they did have influence (campus).
  • Students went against ROTC programs on campuses.
  • Students protesting certain companies recruiting students. Companies such as Napalm.
  • Protests become escalated about the war. The more the students protested, the more they got characterized as being un-American. This ends up polarizing the two sides. Over time, the sides become more and more against each other.
  • In 1966, young men began burning their draft cards to show they would not participate in the war.
  • In 1968, public sentiment changes about the Vietnam War. Before, mostly those who had to fight in the war were against it. Now, many more Americans were against the Vietnam War.
  • March on Washington (1969)
  • Million people march to protest the war.
  • Antiwar movement is not just students anymore.
  • Kent State and Jackson State (1970)
  • After Nixon orders invasion of Cambodia, National Guard is called out on protests at these universities.
  • 4 people are killed at Kent State, 2 people killed at Jackson State.
  • Students and Politics
  • Antiwar movement and student movement come to an achievement in the passing of the 26th Amendment.
  • 26th Amendment (1971)
  • Reduces the voting age nationwide from 21 to 18.
  • If you are old enough to serve for your country, you should be old enough to vote.

The Counterculture

  • Young people who want to express their difference from the older generation through their actions, attitude toward sex, recreational drug use, and their use of rock ‘n’ roll.
  • Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll
  • Areas in which younger people are expressing their differences from older generations.
  • Believed that sex was not only for those who are married and for the purpose of procreation.
  • In 1960, the first contraceptive pill is developed and sold. The threat of pregnancy becomes much less. The ability to engage in sex and not fear pregnancy causes a much greater view to casual sex.
  • Ideas are changing about what is acceptable for a woman to wear in a public setting (bikinis are invented).
  • Drug use skyrockets. Younger generation begins using illegal drugs to experience life. These young people saw their parents use alcohol to forget about the issues of life. For the young people, drugs were said to enhance the experience of life.
  • This generation was approaching life in a much different way than their parents.
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll is the way the generation now expresses themselves.
  • Previous generations expressed themselves through novels, poetry, etc. Now, it is through rock ‘n’ roll.
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll is music that is no different than the music made in the previous decades. It was just different in the way the music was portrayed (louder).
  • Starting in the 1960s, music becomes a way to convey messages (political, cultural, social). First time music was used in this way.
  • Music becomes a much more important factor in the lives of this younger generation.


The Women’s Movement

  • Takes a long time for the Women’s Movement to get into action.
  • “Cult of Domesticity”
  • A women’s job is to take care of her husband and raise the children.
  • This influences societies opinions about working women. Majority of society believe women should not have full time jobs outside of the home.
  • Government tries to convince women to give up their jobs so that veterans can come back and have jobs.
  • They try to convince women that it is patriotic for women to stay at home and raise the children. It is more important that their children don’t turn out Communist.
  • Even though society is saying that women should not work, more and more women are working. The jobs that women do have are secretaries, nurses, teachers. Jobs that are an extension of the roles that a wife and mother would play.
  • Women don’t view their jobs as careers. These jobs are lower paying.
  • This leads to women thinking they are doing something wrong. Women are convincing themselves that they are not living up to their potential.
  • Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (1963)
  • Interviewed a lot of women she went to school with.
  • “A problem with no name”. Women felt they weren’t living up to their potential. Somehow, they were failing.
  • Talks about how AMerican women have been convinced that if they aren’t living up to the ideal that American society said they should pertain, the blame for that falls on them individually. Friedan says the blame is on society for viewing them that way.
  • Telling women, the problems they have in life are not caused on by themselves, but by the way society views women as inferior.

Women’s Rights

  • American Woman (1963)
  • In 1960, JFK creates a president’s commission to investigate the status of women.
  • Report that outlines all the ways in which American women are treated differently than men.
  • Doesn’t suggest a solution. Says that each state should decide on a state by state basis on the treatment of women.
  • The idea that there is something wrong with the way society as a whole view’s women is brought up.
  • Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • Job is to enforce the Civil Rights Act.
  • The EEOC ignored cases that had to do with sex discrimination.
  • Only dealt with racial discrimination.
  • National Organization for Women (NOW)
  • Main purpose was to force the EEOC to take sex discrimination seriously.
  • Betty Friedan was the first president.
  • Successful group. They get several laws passed to create a more equal society for women. Ex. Title 9, ensuring women have equal access to go to college, won access to birth control, maternity leaves, childcare, etc.
  • NOW lobbied for access to abortion for women.
  • Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
  • Suppose to codify that you are not to discriminate based on sex.
  • Approved by Congress in 1972.
  • Once it passes Congress, it must be ratified by the states. This never happens.
  • Roe v. Wade (1972)
  • Made abortion legal in the US.
  • 1972 was the high point of the Women’s Rights Movement.

Women’s Liberation

  • Not just talking about gaining rights, talking about a much more radical change in society.
  • Women want to be liberated from male dominancy. Want to create a different style of politics.
  • “Personal Politics”
  • Two ideas. One idea is that the personal is political, meaning that the ideas that people have are very much political and they should be dealt with in a political arena. The second idea means the way and which women engage in politics is through a personal way, a face to face basis. Women talking to each other.
  • Consciousness-Raising Sessions
  • Groups of women getting together to talk about their lives and the types of obstacles and issues that they face and tried to come up with solutions.
  • Trying to perform the same function as Betty Friedan, but on a face to face interaction.
  • Focused on doing protests. Singled out the Miss America Pageant.
  • Also engaged in acts of liberation. Bra burning. Trying to rid themselves from a society that is dominated by men.
  • This makes the Women’s Movement much more radical than the African American movement and the student movement.

Counter Revolt

  • In 1972 especially after the Roe v. Wade decision, there is a Counter Revolt.
  • Funded by men who don’t want these changes to occur. Led by women. Women who believe that the women’s rights movement and the women’s liberation movement are criticizing them for staying at home and taking care of their family.
  • Concerted effort on the part of Anti-Abortion. Primarily responsible for the Equal Rights Amendment to not pass.
  • Not strictly about the women’s movement, also about the rise of fundamentalists in religion, the rise of neoconservatism.
  • By mid 1970s, all these movements are on the defense.

The Age of Diminishing Expectations

  • In the 1960s, the Social Movements raised expectations. Led to a more general belief that American society should become more equitable.
  • In the 1970s, all these movements faced backlash. Because of this, there is a disillusionment setting in. An idea that American history will always progress.

Political Disillusionment

  • After the end of all this chaos, voter turnout drops rapidly. In 1980, voter turnout was around 50%. People have less and less faith in their leaders because they are not popular among the country.
  • Political Disillusionment – people are realizing that the
  • Watergate
  • Occurs in 1972 during the re-election of Richard Nixon. In June 1972, several members of CREEP were caught breaking into the Democratic National Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C.
  • They were breaking in to try to find dirt on Democratic candidates to reinforce Nixon’s reelection.
  • The investigation resulted in the discovery of many other illegal motives made by Nixon.
  • For Nixon, their main concern was the plumbers.
  • In June 1973, it is revealed Nixon put a tape recording in the White House and listened to everything that was going on. This proved that Nixon was not innocent and was involved.
  • Nixon and the White House say they can’t release these tapes because it threatened National Security. The case goes to court. This case goes to Supreme Court who decides Nixon must turn over the tapes.
  • “plumbers”
  • People that work at the White House who were responsible for doing these same kinds of things. Not against political opponents, but they have been doing these things to discredit the Anti-War movement.
  • Nixon doesn’t want the plumber’s tactics to come out. They start destroying evidence, lying to investigators and influence witnesses.
  • In trying to cover up the things that the plumbers did, they end up not being able to.
  • When Nixon is forced to turn over the tapes, they find that 18 minutes of the tape are blank. Nixon tried to blame this on his secretary. Through investigation, it is found the tapes were copies. Nixon is forced to turn the real tapes over. This proves that he was very involved. This leads to an impeachment process. Nixon resigns before they can do that.
  • As a result, Gerald Ford, Nixon’s new VP is the next President. A President that nobody voted for.
  • Vice President Spiro Agnew
  • In the fall of 1973, he resigns because it comes out that he had taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes as the Governor of Maryland.
  • He resigns and pleads no contest.
  • This makes the Nixon administration look even worse.
  • Gerald Ford
  • New President after Nixon resigns.
  • Nixon chose him as his new VP after Spiro Agnew resigned.

Economic Disillusionment

  • An end to the expanding economy that was experience at the end of the postwar movement.
  • By the 1970s countries are competing with the US in terms of economic production. Competition from other countries becomes greater.
  • This leads to an increasing trade deficit.
  • In 1960s foreign automakers maintained 4% of the American market. In the 1970s this percentage went up to 17%. By 1980, the number increased to 38%.
  • Companies start charging more for their goods, so they don’t go in the red.
  • Recession
  • By 1980, 55% of all Americans believed the future would not be as good as it was in the past economically.
  • By the end of the 1970s, the US fell to 5th in standards of living. This has continued to drop.
  • “stagflation”
  • Combination of stagnation and inflation.
  • Normally When you have high unemployment, prices go down.
  • In the 1970s, both things rose at the same time.
  • The economy is not expanding, and jobs are not being made while prices are rising.

Social Disillusionment

  • Increased expectations were present, when these expectations didn’t come to fruition there was increased doubt whether the US would ever wipe out racism and sexism.
  • Family
  • In 1950, 70% of American families had a father who worked, a mother who stayed home with the kids. People had an average of 3 children per family. This showed optimism.
  • In 190, 15% of American families had a father who worked, a mother who stayed home with the kids. The average family only had 1.5 children. This has to do with a shrinkage in the child-bearing years for women.
  • More women are in the workforce, but the overall workforce was shrinking. More women were going to college, but college numbers were falling. Women had more of a piece of pie, but the pie was shrinking.
  • African American wages rise faster throughout the 50s-70s. By the end of the 1970s, they still don’t get to the level of white families. Same is true for women.

Diminishing Expectations

  • Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism (1979)
  • Refers to the reinforcement of the Narcissistic personality.
  • As people feel like they have less and less control of issues in their life, they don’t feel like they have control over politics. So, people start focusing on things that they can control which is things about themselves.
  • There is an increase in attention to physical fitness. Much more attention to self = narcissistic society. More concerned about themselves than others.
  • This whole phenomenon is dangerous to Democracy.
  • Self-interest is a more prominent factor than public good. This leads to polarization.
  • There is a rise in Conservatism.

Reganomics and the Moral Majority

Political Reaction

  • Rise of Conservatism. Idea is that white men are under attack.
  • By the 1980s, a realignment of the political parties.
  • Political Realignment
  • Split in the Democratic Party between African Americans and women versus white Southern men who had previously dominated the Republican Party.
  • Democratic is primarily the party of women and minorities. Republican party is the party for business and white men without college education. Urban areas versus rural areas.
  • Electoral college benefits rural areas much more than urban areas.
  • Deregulation
  • The reason the economy went bad was that the government has been spending too much on regulating businesses and social welfare programs.
  • Money in the hands of the wealthy will benefit society the most. The wealthy will spend that money, start businesses and so forth.

Economic Reaction

  • Reganomics
  • Money in the hands of those that are the wealthiest will trickle down to the rest of society.
  • Top tax rate went from 70% to 28% during Reagan’s years in office.
  • Even though the idea to shrink the government, because there was so much spending on defense this idea did not really work.
  • Greater gap between upper-class and middle-class.

Social Reaction

  • Culture Wars.
  • The Moral Majority
  • A melding of religion and politics. Especially by prominent Christian Evangelists.
  • Religious movement that has a political expression.
  • Supported being against abortion, illegal immigration, homosexuality, etc.
  • Went against things that were undermining family values.
  • Success of Republican Party was they had a clear vision of what they supported.
  • Televangelists and Politics
  • “Family Values”

Continuing Inequality

  • Inequality is becoming greater and greater.
  • Income Inequality
  • The gap between the rich and the poor is becoming greater.
  • Has to do with the ratio between the person who makes the most in a company compared to the typical worker. In the 1950s, the CEO made 20 times more than a typical worker in the company. In the 1980s, the ratio becomes 42 to 1. In 2000, the ratio is 120 to 1. In 2016, the ratio is 347 to 1.
  • The CEO of Walmart makes more each hour more than an average Walmart worker in a year.
  • The hundred wealthiest Americans have more accumulated wealth than all the African Americans in the country combined.
  • Gender Inequality
  • Average American woman makes 80% of what an average American man makes.
  • Racial Inequality
  • Minority women make 63% of what an average man makes.
  • 72% of white Americans own their own home. Only 42% of African Americans own their own home. This leads to a huge gap in wealth.

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